By By Adolfo Boy
I had forgotten this experience but it came back to my memory when a series of news and communiqués came from various parts of the world: a French work on Gaspillage alimentaire: WASTE OF FOODS, (France Nature Environnement); from Mexico it is ensured that 31 thousand tons of food in good condition are wasted every day. The cure against hunger begins with knowing the numbers of the waste (Vanguard / Special); recently in between us, Primicias Rurales published a cable dated in LONDON, Jan 10, 2013 (AFP) - Almost half of the food produced in the world, that is about 2,000 million tons per year, ends up in garbage, according to a new report published this Thursday by a British organization that urges to urgently fight against this waste.
According to the French report “The world can produce enough food to feed 6 billion people on the planet. However, 82 countries do not have enough food to sustain the entire population decently. In France, an average of 21% of the food we buy is taken, which represents 5.6 million tons of food waste per year, or 89.9kg per year per capita. The cost of this incredible amount of food waste at 430 euros per inhabitant per year ”.
According to France Nature Environnement, "every year about 7 kilos of unopened and unused products are thrown away by anyone". According to a study carried out by Verdicité and FNE, it can be estimated that food waste represents 10% of household and similar waste. Households throw away, on average, between € 500 and € 1,500 per year of food that is still possible to consume. The energy cost of food waste. Food is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions. From production to waste management, the life cycle of a French food represents around 20% of its total daily emissions ”.
La Vanguardia de México, in the aforementioned article, assures: It is hard to think about the amount of food that we waste daily around the world. And the problem is that we do it unconsciously. I admit to being guilty of having wasted food on more than one occasion and for the simplest reasons. No space in the fridge? Goodbye. Did the expiration date expire one day? In the trash, without regrets, but when these types of decisions are multiplied by the millions of homes in Mexico and the world, then it becomes a global problem.
Almost half of the food produced in the world, that is, some 2,000 million tons per year, ends up in the garbage, according to a new report published on Thursday, January 10, 2013 by a British organization that urges to urgently fight against this waste. The pressure on food resources, caused by this waste, is due to multiple factors, including the lack of adequate structures, strict expiration dates, commercial offers that force buying in quantity and consumer hobbies.
The report, entitled "Global Food, Waste Not, Want Not" highlights that between 30% and 50% of the 4,000 million tons of food produced annually on the planet They are never eaten. In the UK alone, up to 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested because their appearance does not meet the criteria required by consumers.
It is then that I felt the need to write these lines that have made me reflect and I hope they make those who read them reflect, trying to become aware of some aspects that ARE NOT ANALYZED IN THE MENTIONED REPORTS. Starting by defining that the highest percentages of waste are caused by agribusiness, where “added value” appears, let us remember in passing that the now almost forgotten Agrifood Strategic Plan (PEA2) launched with great fanfare, saucers and many subsidies, on May 14 2010, which focused its expectations on added value: wouldn't it be correct to say added price? Actually the raw material food is not added (added) nutritional value, the addition is energy since it does not improve the natural quality of the food, on the contrary, as soon as we think, the "nutritional" additions are only sales arguments. Why add iron (of doubtful assimilation) to milk? In a balanced, varied diet, the iron will be provided by another food. The GM golden rice, contained the same concept, rice with beta carotene, it would not be necessary to consume carrots, sweet potatoes or squash.
Is there a more efficient feeding than local food with the shortest possible cycle: SOL (sole source of energy) LETTUCE - INGESTION immediate - local; This cycle reduces the external input, does not need added value, there is no transport that requires fossil fuel for its transfer and in particular we must point out there is NO generation of garbage (real garbage 0), something that is out of the reports, the agro-industry and “ the added value ”in packing, labels, plastics and“ tetras ”, the disposal of this waste is a drama of urban centers that consumes energy and pollutes.
My experience reported at the beginning comes from the expiration date, a consequence of the «added value». After listening to the story, I found out that it is frequent that food items, removed from the gondolas, because their "expiration" date has arrived, are thrown, in this sink and in many others in the country, some multinational bakeries withdraw their bread " expired ”and they use them to feed pigs… I was informed that, due to fear of lawsuits, these foods are not offered to picnic areas, soup kitchens or popular pots; They also assured me off record, that in Mar del Plata there was an arrangement with "cartoneros" that these foods were left accommodated in previously agreed places. The issue has been worrying for a long time and it seems that there is a bill "of the good Samaritan" that would enable the donation of these foods without responsibility for the manufacturer.
That date was always confusing to me and it is striking that it is the one most read by consumers. Would any grandmother who boasts of being a date put a date on her jams?
Expressions such as "Use before", "preferable to use before", are only expressions of "agroindustrial that added value ¿¡¡??" I wonder if the day after "expired" ... can not be consumed? Are we facing a similar case of wanting to establish zones without spraying of 500, 1000 meters and… 499, 999 is different from 501 or 1001 meters, is it biology, right?
There are comments that this year in the United Kingdom a proposal would be put into practice to stop placing the expiration date on food, this initiative is from Curbing Food Waste UK and tries to stop the waste of food with a value of 18 billion dollars that is disposed of annually.
An FAO estimate up to last year, per capita / year food waste is: Europe and North America: 115 kilograms; Latin America: 25 kilograms; Southeast Asia and Africa: 11 kilograms.
The figures should be enough to forget the slogan of the agribusiness that claim to have the key to "end world hunger" ... It often happens in this knowledge society that lying is more frequent than knowing.
Back to earth.